How to Install New Truck Carpet, Part 1 of 3

What You'll Need
Basic tool kit
Ratchet and socket drivers
Scissors or a sharp utility knife

Installing new truck carpet can improve the level of satisfaction you get from being inside your vehicle and get rid of allergens that your old carpet has accumulated over time. If you’re thinking of replacing your truck carpet by yourself, make sure that you have the tools you need, a little knowledge about the anatomy of a vehicle and several free hours. 

Step 1 - Buy the New Carpet

Go to your local auto parts store and have the salesperson help you find the right carpet. You have to tell him the particular features of your truck (year, make, model, cab style, transmission type, shifter location and whether it’s a 2- or 4-wheel-drive) so that he can show you the carpets specifically available for you. The mold for the carpet is made using the original floor plan, so it should fit your truck perfectly. If your truck has an extended cab, you can choose between a 1-piece and a 2-piece carpet. A 2-piece carpet is easier to install and consists of a carpet for the front and another for the rear.

Choose your carpet, taking into account the style and color you want. It would be good to check the carpet density and quality as well, so take your time to feel the sample and be sure to take a look at its backside. Most carpet backings are made out of poly. If your old carpet has a rubber backing and you want your new carpet to have rubber backing as well, ask for a mass backed one. Special backing is especially sound and has a weather damping effect. Add a strong padding to this, and your carpet will have “mold memory” such that it will adapt to the floor shape of your truck.

If the store can’t find you a carpet that fits your truck and your taste, you can buy a standard carpet. Otherwise, there are several ways to order a custom molded carpet online. If you do so, request samples and carefully check the return policy before you order.

Step 2 - Unroll the New Carpet and Let It Settle

Before you get ready to work, unroll your new carpet and straighten it over a flat surface, ideally in a warm room. The carpet will regain its shape, and the wrinkles from its tight packaging will smooth out. Don’t worry if all of the wrinkles don’t disappear. When you install it in the truck, they’ll smooth out on their own. The carpet will need to settle for a couple of hours. The time you should leave it to settle will vary depending on the carpet’s material.